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Of the great many things we discussed at NGS 2013, one question was pressing: how can transitioning genealogists create a name for themselves, develop a reputation, gain traction in the community? There was one consistent answer: volunteer. The hard part here, of course, is that we are talking about people who are trying to build a career, and are therefore very concerned about finances. Spending time donating their energy and effort does not generate immediate income, and that is a difficult thing to balance, and to explain to the spouse or significant other. Realizing of course that the author of this post is in that very predicament, it is easy to empathize with this sentiment. Did you know that J. Mark Lowe spent at least a couple years as the “box mover?” More than fifteen years into his career as a professional genealogist, he still recalls those times with obvious fondness. Although he said he didn’t do a lot of talking from the booth (which, personally, I find that a bit hard to believe), he was remembered as a hard worker and gained a reputation for being able to see through the commitment. D. Joshua Taylor spent year’s as the go-to AV guy, and laughs now because he is still a bit of the go-to AV guy. Have they stopped volunteering simply because of their status in the profession? Certainly not. The position of President for the Federation of Genealogical Societies is a volunteer position, and requires hours of time and non-stop effort. Our community, in fact, relies heavily on the willingness of our family members to volunteer. Many of these large events simply would not exist without their contributions. What does all this have to do with the transitioning genealogist? Plenty. We are the next wave of national speakers, ... Read More »